Request for Stuffing Box help

Discussion in 'Announcements & FAQs' started by TPF, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. TPF

    TPF New Member

    2
    Aug 5, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    34 Searay 1985
    340 mercs
    Hi there,

    I just bought an older, 1985 Searay and am having troubles with fixing the leaky stuffing boxes, does anyone have a step by step or video, diagram on how to fix and or repack these things ?

    Many Thanks, TPF
     
  2. Air O'Nautical

    Air O'Nautical Active Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Stamford CT "Ponus Yacht Club"
    1995 400EC. Raymarine E80,4kw dome, Garmin 235 gps,
    2013 7.4L Mercruiser Blue water.
    Hurth straight shaft 630's,
    Westerbeke 7.0 BCG
    It's a simple process with the boat out of the water.

    1. Unscrew the big nut that's compressing the old packing.
    2. Clean out all the old packing. There's a special small corkscrew tool made for this.
    Ensure all the old packing is out and the cavity is as clean as possible.
    3. Wrap the new packing around the drive shaft near where it's going to be installed and cut it to the perfect size ring with a new razor blade....repeat this for as many rings as will fit back into the stuffing cavity. Normally 3-4.
    4. Insert the new rings one at a time staggering the joints..a cut piece of PVC pipe will be handy to help pack each ring into place.
    5. Reinstall the big nut and hand tighten.
    6. Run the boat and tighten the big nut a 1/4 turn more (if necessary) until you get no drip stationary but, a slow drip while the shaft is turning.

    You might take the time to clean everything up and clear coat it to look nice between services.
    Yours might look different but, the process is the same.
    I also recommend using GFO packing instead of standard wax packing.
    The GFO is much better and doesn't drip nearly as much...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  3. TPF

    TPF New Member

    2
    Aug 5, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    34 Searay 1985
    340 mercs
    Big Thanks Mark for the list of instructions and pics too, great response...........one last question.

    Would you attempt this process with the boat in the water ?
     
  4. dwna1a

    dwna1a Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    I did mine in the water with no big issues.

    the only thing I did different was to per cut the packing using a section of old shaft. Then I just staggered the cuts.
     
  5. Air O'Nautical

    Air O'Nautical Active Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Stamford CT "Ponus Yacht Club"
    1995 400EC. Raymarine E80,4kw dome, Garmin 235 gps,
    2013 7.4L Mercruiser Blue water.
    Hurth straight shaft 630's,
    Westerbeke 7.0 BCG
    I've replaced packing in the water and the inflow of water isn't as much as you'd think, very manageable. I perfer doing it on land so I can completely clean out ALL the old crud before installing the new stuff.

    You can cut the the new packing rings around the shaft before opening it up.
    Don't cut the new rings around anything but the exact shaft it's going to be installed in due to size variations of the shafts.

    It's just easier on land.
     
  6. dwna1a

    dwna1a Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    You can cut the the new packing rings around the shaft before opening it up.
    Don't cut the new rings around anything but the exact shaft it's going to be installed in due to size variations of the shafts.

    thank you Mark, I should have added that in. My slip neighbor took all the measurements off my shaft and then took an old shaft and turned it to match my shaft in his metal shop
     
  7. Air O'Nautical

    Air O'Nautical Active Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Stamford CT "Ponus Yacht Club"
    1995 400EC. Raymarine E80,4kw dome, Garmin 235 gps,
    2013 7.4L Mercruiser Blue water.
    Hurth straight shaft 630's,
    Westerbeke 7.0 BCG
    Ok,

    I once cut the rings on another part of the same shaft and upon installation, I was surprised when the were all a bit too short.
    You want the ring to wrap all the way around with no gaps.
    You may also make the cut on an angle so installed there's no gap.

    Good luck,
     
  8. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    Mark did a nice write-up, step-by-step with pix, on this a few years back...

    http://clubsearay.com/showthread.php/28748-Packing-Stuffing-box-and-Rudders?highlight=

    Strongly suggest you DO NOT use the old wax-rope type stuffing. Get the Gore tex GFO stuff. Couple of bucks more but you can tighten it down and eliminate any and all dripping and not have to worry about scoring the shafts.

    http://gfopacking.com/?gclid=CjwKEA...trHNTKcDW2UhBkLxt9-b8Q17DfjVxt-JdURoCEa7w_wcB


    I replaced my packing on my previous boat and had a dry bilge from that point on.

    One note: you'll tighten the nut and stop the drip but when you run the boat it will start dripping again. It's a process - you may have to tighten it down several times after several runs to get it where it belongs. I used a huge cheap-ass pipe wrench from Harbor Freight, which I kept in my dock-box.
     

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